Saturday, January 21, 2012

Fun Facts about Rome

  • Rome's early history is shrouded in legend. According to Roman tradition, the city was founded by the twins Romulus and Remus on 21 April 753 BC.
  • Due to this centrality on many levels, the city has been nicknamed "Caput Mundi" (Latin for "Capital of the World") and "The Eternal City".
  • Its rich artistic heritage and vast amount of ancient, notably architectural and archaeological sites, contribute to the city's UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
  • Rome is the third-most-visited tourist destination in the European Union.
  • The city is also an important worldwide hub of the cinematic and filming industry, home to the important and large Cinecittà Studios, which saw the filming of several internationally acclaimed movies as well as television programmes.
  • The Rome metropolitan area has a GDP of €109.4 billion (US$ 149.14), and according to a 2008 study, the city is the world's 35th richest city by purchasing power.
  • The city hosted the 1960 Olympic Games and is also an official candidate for the 2020 Olympic Games.
  • Rome is an important centre for music, and it has an intense musical scene, including several prestigious music conservatories and theatres. It hosts the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia (founded in 1585), for which new concert halls have been built in the new Parco della Musica, one of the largest musical venues in the world.
  • A Jewish influence in the italian dishes can be seen, as Jews have lived in Rome since the 1st century BCE. Examples of these include "Saltimbocca alla Romana" - a veal cutlet, Roman-style; topped with raw ham and sage and simmered with white wine and butter - and "Carciofi alla giudia" - artichokes fried in olive oil, typical of Roman Jewish cooking.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

This was a first time, for some of the touring students meeting each other, these young women are ready for an adventure with new experiences but most importantly self discovery. Thank you!!!!

Mr Cheung was impressed with their voices and commitment, fun day!

Last Tuesday the 10th, we began the dance" Let it Be" Choreographed by Frit and Frat Fuller, so sorry I missed a pic moment, will add them next time, along with other updates on all involved,


Ms Darnell

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Assisi: An Inspiring Journey

Dear Travelers, w
e hope you are having a great New Year!
Today we would like to tell you about the city of Assisi. This is not simple task, but so enjoyable! Thinking of what we should choose to highlight, I found myself simply missing to be there: the light, the brilliance in the air, its cleanliness, the travel through the centuries, the deep peace, the soul, the Umbrian landscape… and also the good Umbrian gastronomy! I enjoy these every single time I go there, no matter if Assisi is so busy or quite empty, no matter if too sunny (is there a “too sunny”?) or too cloudy, if it was all scaffold due to the 1997 earthquakes, or if I run all the way uphill to get some quick pizza before running down… I always found myself very much in calm, and also quite moved in Assisi: you can just breath deep, look up and around, and smile as some inspiration arises.
Assisi is not a big city: has some 30.000 inhabitants, but it looks small. It elegantly lies on a hill, with its two 14th century Forts (Rocca Maggiore and Rocca Minore – Large and Small Forts) perched upon the hilltop. You can visit the Rocca Maggiore Fort, and enjoy some wonderful views. The city has an extension of 71 sq.miles, and it all looks as a middle age village: from the old gates and along the main Via de San Francesco, Assisi neighbors have taken very good care of this medieval look and religious feeling.
Being the home of several saints, and Saint Francis place, most of the landmarks in Assisi are religious: For sure the Basilica of Saint Francis is the most important building for the history, art and the religion it comprises: started to be built right after Saint Francis death, it is a World Heritage Site, and it divides in the Lower Church, from the 13th century – you can visit the crypt of Saint Francis - with a wonderful blue ceiling and Giotto frescoes - and the Upper Church, with works by Cavallini. Again, look at the ceilings! Nowadays, an international religious study centre is run at the Sacred Convent.

The Basilica lies on the left corner of the city as you usually approach it, and from there you can just walk uphill along the Via San Francesco – or any of the parallel streets – to reach to the high main square. Around the city, scanty traces of the Roman times can be seen: remains of the city walls, and in the Piazza del Comune – main square – you can find the so-called Temple of Minerva: with six Corinthian columns of travertine, it was erected by Gaius and Titus Caesius in the 1st century B.C.. Now it is converted into a church.
The square is a nice meeting point where almost all streets converge. Around by the main streets you can do some nice shopping for small handicrafts and local specialties. You can also sit down and relax, knowing that beneath your feet lies the ancient Roman Forum of the Asisium Roman city, the place where people used to meet 2000 years ago keeps being the same! You can visit it form the Museo Civico, but some shopkeepers now open their basement for visitors.
Other highlights in Assisi are the Basilica di Santa Chiara, the cathedral of San Rufino (Duomo), and we of course cannot forget about the very typical pasta called strangozzi, and the famous black truffles from Norcia. As you can see, there are all kinds of inspiration in Assisi!
References and pictures are taken from: